Sunday, February 16, 2014

Time for Winter Soup

Seeing as we have 12” of snow on the ground now and the fact that another snow fall consisting of three inches is referred to (by me) as a ‘flurry,’ I thought it was time for some nourishing Winter Soup.

I take recipes as suggestions so of course this is an adaptation of North Pole Soup, which came to me via my Mom who lives in (of all places), Tucson, Arizona.  Because I limit the amount of wheat in my diet, I substituted potatoes for the noodles that the original recipe called for.  Limiting wheat has really boosted my immune system, so much so that it is an easy choice to not eat very much of it at all.

Winter Soup

Note: all ingredients are organic whenever possible and amounts are listed as ‘guidelines.’

4 – 5 medium sized red potatoes, scrubbed clean, sliced
1 red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, sliced crosswise
2 large carrots, sliced crosswise
5 cups water
2 cubes vegetable bouillon
1 tsp powdered dried mustard seed
1 tsp dried basil
Salt to taste
1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes ( I used crushed fire roasted)
1 14oz. can red kidney beans (any beans will do – garbanzos, cannellini)
1 – 2 Tblsp. olive oil or coconut oil

Saute onions in oil for 5 min over medium-low heat, add garlic, carrots and celery and sauté another 5 – 10 min. until soft. Slice potatoes (I use my handy food processor  for slicing and dicing) and place in water in a large soup pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and keep at a simmer. Add salt, bouillon, basil and dried mustard, crushed tomatoes and beans.  Add your sautéed veggies to the soup pot and let simmer for at least 30 min.  This soup is super-fast to make, especially if you have a food processor.  It freezes really well too, but remember no freezing in plastic. Keep it healthy and use just Pyrex.

Enjoy!  Like all soups, this is even better the next day.

My goal in preparing food for myself and my family is that it is healthy, delicious AND beautiful (in a down-home sort of way). I don’t measure except with my eyeballs and my taste buds.  Also, what I love about soups is that you can adjust the amounts of any ingredients to your taste, needs, and what is available in the pantry.  Got guests coming and need more soup?  The solution is, as my Brazilian friend Heloisa says, ‘Add water to the beans!’

When it looks like this outside:  

its time for Winter Soup!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

It may seem strange but I occasionally ask myself, ‘Why jewelry?’  As in, why design jewelry, why is this my passion?  The answer is about as simple as answering ‘Why am I an artist?’  The only answer that I have found to that is, “Because I am!”

Having two children of my own, I know from observation that they pretty much ‘pop out as is,’ full of their very own character traits.  Almost like Athena from Zeus’ head, although not in adult form (thank goodness!), nor fully armed.  Yes, there is nurture, and my artist mother certainly nurtured my ablity and desire to create just about anything.

I approach my work as a jewelry designer as an artist and I think of each design as a miniature scuplture. That my 3-dimensional designs are wearable is no accident though. I worked as a sculptor, creating large scale ceramic works, for the early part of my ‘official’ career as an artist.  I wanted however to create something more intimate and more accessible, to more people. 

I have always been a collector of tiny interesting things – nature-made and person-made - so when I found my way to jewelry design it was a beautiful and logical marriage of my drive to create sculpture, my interest in personal adornment, and my love of small treasures. I have never looked back!

In the end it may simply come down to this quote I came across by Rob Bell that seems to neatly sum it up, “It was always, I have to try, because that’s where the joy is.”

Have a wonderful day!

Xo Kristen